I’ve always been fascinated by glass. The texture, the colours, the shapes all interact with light to evoke a feeling. When worked in the flame, glass flows, allowing the artist to form rounds, barrels, bicones, droplets – almost anything. Glass is durable as well as beautiful. And the colours! From muted to vibrant, ethereal to bold, glass colours and combinations are almost unlimited.
When my children were young, we collected glass beads wherever we went. They learned to string them into bracelets, necklaces and decorations, only to take them apart sometime later to create something new. It wasn’t until years later that I began to wonder whether I could actually make the beads instead of collecting them
I took a one day class at Bead FX, a wonderful centre for crafting in Toronto, and was immediately hooked. Having no torch or kiln myself, I went to the Bead FX studio on Monday nights to torch and learn by watching others. Everyone there was very generous with their suggestions and encouragement.
After about a year of torching at Bead FX, I knew I needed a studio of my own. My amazingly talented husband Greg built me one in our backyard, with double sliding doors and a skylight to take advantage of the light and the view of the garden. I have everything I need there: torch, kiln, tools, space to make beads into jewelry, and storage for glass of all colours and makes. I know how lucky I am to have a place for creativity, beauty and continual learning.
Every piece I create is one of a kind; nothing is repeated. It is truly wearable glass art. I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I enjoyed making them.
June Maresca, Artist